In Praise of Historical Anthropology is based on a fundamental conviction: the study of society cannot be undertaken without considering the weight of history and separations between disciplines in academics need to be bridged for the benefit of knowledge. Anthropology cannot be limited to situating its object in its immediate context; rather its true subject of study is society as a historical problem. The book describes the complex attempts to transcend this separation, presenting perspectives, methodologies, and direct applications for the study of power relations and systems of social classification, paying special attention to the reconstruction of colonial situations. Following the maxim expounded by John and Jean Comaroff, this book will help us understand that historical anthropology is not a matter of merging the two disciplines of anthropology and history, but rather considering societies in their historically situated dimension and applying the tools of the social and human sciences to the analysis. In this vein, the book reviews the complex attempts to bridge disciplinary separations and theoretical proposals coming from very different traditions. The text, consequently, opens up hegemonic perspectives to include “other anthropologies.”
1. Anthropology and History: Uncomfortable Dance Partners
2. Historical-Anthropological "Masters of Thought"
3. Epistemologies and Methods
4. Colonial Systems of Power and Domination
5. Systems of Classification and Social Exclusion
Epilogue: The Dilemma of Multiculturalism